WIUM Tristates Public Radio

How Voters Followed the Presidential Campaign

Nov 6, 2012

The panelists talk about a study that found Americans used nearly every news platform available in the weeks before the November 6 election.

The study was done by the Pew Research Center.  It said the biggest gains came on the Internet – both to the websites of traditional news sources and those native to the web. Television was found to be the most useful source of campaign news.

Shop Talk panelist Rich Egger was struck by the finding that 12% of Americans regularly get news from comedy programs such as The Daily Show and Saturday Night Live. Pew said this puts those shows on par with public radio and national newspapers.

Panelist Lisa Kernek said she was not surprised. She pointed out Steven Colbert did an excellent bit on The Colbert Report in which he formed his own Super-PAC to demonstrate how much money was pouring into political campaigns, often from sources unknown to the public.

Panelist Mike Murray is not surprised all media sources are used by potential voters. But he is surprised to see one-percent of those surveyed said they learned about the campaign by watching YouTube. He finds that a curious choice given all the other sources available.

The panelists also talked about how the reporting on the presidential campaign increasingly became about the “horse race” rather than the issues.